Training Feedback

With permission feedback received from attendees for the Race, culture and anti-discriminatory practice training. We believe in continuous process of transparency and improvement therefore critical feedback has been included and will be responded to here.

Quote from Jan Baker, Chair of Membership Services Committee UKATA, (who attended the training):‘I appreciated the way the content was delivered and emerged in a timely and relevant way to meet the needs of the group. I also appreciated Mamood’s input was kept to a sensitive minimum, guiding direction without directing the discussion.
This was a life changing course for me which enabled me to really and honestly address issues that I have avoided albeit unconsciously’

I liked the overall structure of the programme – the ‘teaching element’ vs the ‘group discussion’ element. You’re individual and collective knowledge, experience and expertise clearly comes through. ~ K.M

Do you think all therapists need to have this competence and why? I think all therapists and anyone working in a helping profession, including consultants who work in the EDI space should have this competence – otherwise how can we move the conversation forward and progress meaningfully?

I have learned a little more humility as regards how I come across as a white therapist. I really valued the feedback both yourself and Sam offered me about working with Black, Brown and clients of Colour. I need to watch for coming across as ‘a bit holier than thou’!….when attempting to own my whiteness. I learned more about the importance of sensitivity when bringing up racial differences and racism….. that there isn’t a right way necessarily…. but that openness and willingness to learn is key. ~anon

I have the learnt that I am at the beginning of this journey, this is despite being involved in anti-racist campaigns since a very young age. However, I do feel more confident when working with diverse heritage identity. I feel more able to go to deeper places with clients and also to be alert to how things that superficially might not appear to have any link to diverse heritage identity can be totally linked. I am also a lot more aware of my whiteness and how this could feel triggering for some clients. ~nikki

Facilitation. What do you think we did well? Pretty much everything. From the first session, I felt in very safe hands. It is a hard skill to create safety via Zoom and you both achieved it. The lived experience of racism was the most powerful thing for me and will be the biggest driving force to continue to take action. ~nikki

you both worked superbly as a team and a huge shout out to you both…thank you! ~anon

Do you think all therapists need to have this competence and why? Yes. It is shameful that it is lacking. I think white therapists need to fully understand how triggering their presence could be, how racism is trauma and also how certain interventions won’t be appropriate if someone isn’t white. There needs to be a big overhaul in terms of therapists feeling clear and equipped to challenge racism in a safe way.~ nikki

I have developed more confidence in challenging my white colleagues, for example if they are expressing their colour-blindness or possibly not seeing the bigger picture (e.g. systemic racism ). The reality of being white and privileged is dawning on me much more and it feels like a painful and necessary shift. Thank you both for providing the safety and non-judgementalism to share a bit of my own life trauma. ~nk

You both held the space well and were professional and very patient as we white therapists struggled with our white identities and prejudices. ~anon

The course was amazing.  I have become more aware of my learnt internal racism and am finally tuning in to what affects those of diverse heritage. I am losing friends as a result but I am comfortable with that.  My white goggles are coming off finally.  I do have much more learning to do – Janice M

I have learned that I still have much more to learn, but that it is possible to do it in community. I still love theory but I have learned so much from the experiences of others, their reactions, their reflections, that I believe it is only possible to grasp certain things in relationship. And this training group was perfect for that. ~LS

The pacing, the openness to everyone’s experience. Sharing personal experiences helped a lot as well, and the feeling of being held empathically. ~ LS

What have you learnt about yourself ? Too much to state simply! Certainly seen and overcome some hesitance in stepping forward to engage with the issues needing to be engaged with, with client work and supervision work.

Relaxed, inviting, well-paced style, supporting and encouraging group process to create the conditions for challenging work. Relevant and useful theoretical input. ~ Stephen

Do you think all therapists need to have this competence and why?Yes I do. Not having this competence is likely to lead to people being given poor, potentially damaging service ~ Stephen

Improvement? Power dynamics and how they play out with clear examples could be a good thing to add. {#TADF will add more explicit process to content)

I think maybe we could have in some way discussed whiteness a bit more and what it means to those of us who had obviously joined the course as we care and  are still unaware of lots of aspects . { acknowledged }  

All trainee therapists should have this as a module in their courses .  My final dissertation research was on whether students/qualified feel competent enough to work cross culturally and the results were very interesting. ~ Janice M

1/ What have you learnt about yourself (& in relation to others) and working with diverse heritage identity in comparison to where when you started (process and content)?

This was an interesting process and made me think about my own identity in relation to others – particularly how my own ‘taken for granted’ experiences of growing up in my culture might differ greatly from others who share the same geographic location. I have learnt that I need to be more thorough in my case formulation and gained confidence in asking/ having conversations about about race/ culture/ heritage etc

2/ Facilitation. What do you think we did well?

Allowed discussion space, room to explore topics and points raised in large group 3/ Facilitation. What do you think we could have done better?

Perhaps less large group work to accommodate different learning styles? { will bear this in mind to balance needs }

4/ Do you think overall number of sessions/hours was enough for minimum competence for race-culture (i.e. to be taught at trainee therapist level or in helping professions)?

5/ Do you feel other themes could have been covered?

Not so much a theme, but maybe a basic introduction to some of the terminology may have been useful { Added the content. thanks }

6/ Do you think all therapists need to have this competence and why?

Absolutely yes, how can we be well rounded, non-biased, effective therapists if we are unwilling to do the work? Whos need is this about as its not the clients? 7/ Anything else? E.g. structure/sequencing.

Personally I would have benefitted from more reflection time or longer breaks to process and consolidate learning – in particular the 4 hour inputs { Will be changing to 3 hour evening max }

This was a life changing course for me which enabled me to really and honestly address issues that I have avoided albeit unconsciously ~ Jan Baker Therapyworks4U

Much more aware of ideas of my own culture and heritage as a white British woman, and my own various privileges. More aware of the impact this can have on working with BAME/POC clients. 
the group felt very calming and safe and individual needs were taken into account. ~ Becky simpson

The antiracism racio-cultural development model added to my developing understanding of who I am culturally, where I have come from and where I am now in my development. It has made me appreciate that the same developmental structure applies to people from diverse cultures, and people of colour. This is important because there is not one way of working with black and brown people. First it’s important to explore where the client is in their development and to consider where I am in my development. Before I would have thought the work would be the same regardless. I have also learnt to appreciate the complexity of working with someone from a different heritage including whether the person is first or second generation to British culture.~ Dolores Palmer

{ On need for core competence )

Do you think all therapists need to have this competence and why?

Definitely. Horrendous to think of the damage one could do without this competence. It needs to be part of foundation training. The competence raises awareness of one’s own white privilege and western viewpoint and the perspective of other cultures which can be / is very different.Ethics says we need to work within our client’s framework – without this competence we white therapists would be unable to even start working within black and brown people’s framework. ~ Dolores Palmer

Yes absolutely – the impact of a clients heritage/race/culture isn’t always obvious, plus we need to be aware of the impact of systemic racism particularly within the counselling profession ~ Becky simpson.

Yes I think so. Even when working with a client from the same background, so much is missed by not taking into account racio-cultural identities and how they impact the way we navigate the world and relationships. It brings the social context back into the room instead of individualising all issues which can be harmful in the long run. ~LS

Absolutely! We need a baseline to address the issues that are so relevant to our practice

Absolutely! Without race and culture competency, therapists risk being blind to the issues and experiences clients bring with them into the therapy room. Nuances and subtleties can be missed, relationships damaged, and clients re-traumatised or harmed. ~ Emily mcarthur

I appreciated the way the content was delivered and emerged in a timely and relevant way to meet the needs of the group. I also appreciated Mamood’s input was kept to a sensitive minimum, guiding direction without directing the discussion ~ Jan Baker Therapyworks4U

Noted feedback for formal contract for group. (Thank you – Provided verbally currently will update) ~ Jan Baker Therapyworks4U

I’ve learnt more about not just minoritised cultures, but also about my own white ethnic culture. This course encouraged me to reflect deeply on how these exist together, to the obvious benefit of white people like myself. As well as to consider how cultural identities might intersect in the therapy room. The training also enabled me to learn from the lived experiences of others, and to process, understand and reframe lived experiences of my own. As a result, I feel more confident about being able to offer therapy to my clients that embraces and considers their racial and cultural identities, and experiences. ~ Emily Mcarthur

The training was a brilliant experience. It was informative, insightful, and hugely valuable – both personally and professionally. I would most definitely recommend it to other therapists. ~ Emily Mcarthur

Noted your comment on “anti-discriminatory practice” ensure in context of race & culture rather than overall. Will stress this point in upfront material.


  • Excellent was: Curriculum, pace and 2 tutors form different gender.
  • Trainers/ providers   demonstrated  diversity in person and in material
  • Combination of group work and lecture was a good balance
  • Provider were very inclusive, kind, easy to understand
  • Impressed how much effort and preparation went into the content
  • Differences was seen in:  choice of literature,  in contribution of participants was encouraged and safely held.

The validation from the group was healing.  By asking the group  a honest and yet challenging question. I felt something release. I come with many generational voices and I’m in a position where I can allow them, myself to be heard, understood with full effect. This is indeed healing. ~Natasha Anderson-Foster

The race and whiteness themes flowed into one another, other most topics were covered, we just didn’t have enough time in terms of sessions it’s a huge and never ending topic. ~ Natasha Anderson-Foster

Grateful for this opportunity Mamood this was special opportunity. ~ Natasha Anderson-

What i learnt? That I’m massively committed to and passionate about continuing to challenge self and grow in this area, that I need to keep at it. That connecting with others on a shared journey is awesome. [ KH ]

[Tutor feedback] Great questions. Very calm, gentle and open presence. Heard all voices. {KH]

Some therapists are becoming more aware of the lack in the trainings provided and this feels important for me.

I feel better to see white therapists out there searching for ways to understand their own race powers and responsibilities.

I feel very strongly about learning more of race and how being othered impacts development.

A very cathartic experience.